New York's Creative Playground

Late January through early February is my favorite creative moment in the New York calendar.  It is a month filled with show after show featuring fabrics, colors, trends, and prolific genius.  This time around we had a special treat.  New York held it's most successful sourcing show to date, representing only micro local resources.

I began my day by visiting City Source, the show co-sponsored by the Fashion Institute and the Council of Fashion Designers of America.  This event showcased manufacturers located within New York City.  Looking to get pleating done, have your own print made, or to design custom buttons - well NY can deliver.  I was amazed at all of the options.  The beautiful part about it was that most of the companies represented have been in business for over 50 years!  Check one out below:

Fabric flower trunk by M & S Schmalberg

Fabric flower trunk by M & S Schmalberg

M & S Schmalberg create custom fabric flowers for the bridal, fashion, and millinery industries.  The company has been in business for nearly 100 years.  Do you know all of those flower brooches, and silk flowers you see in offices?....well it is possible that they were made here in NY.  I spoke with the great grandson of the founder, Adam.  Adam explained to me the process of the flower making.  First, a design is submitted, and then a mold is made.  The fabric is then laid out and the die cut machine slices it.  If the customer wants an embossed look, heat is added to manipulate the fabric into folds and bends.  Lastly, if the fabric is very soft, a light starch will be added to strengthen it.  The finished product is just perfect.

Die cutting machines were originally created to cut leather for the shoemaking industry in the 1920s.

Die cutting machines were originally created to cut leather for the shoemaking industry in the 1920s.

For the second part of the day I visited Premiere Vision.  PV showcases the highest, most gorgeous fabrics in the world.  Mills hailing from France, Italy, Japan, Turkey, and beyond showed up to present their wares.  I was enamored  with the French laces and the Italian silks.  Even new, tech fabrics were presented.  There were incredible performance fabrics for rain gear and boardshoarts.  I was inspired to start making mens, just so I could utilize these incredible materials.

A gorgeous Italina fabric.  Please rain just so I can wear this!

A gorgeous Italina fabric.  Please rain just so I can wear this!

Along with fabrics, PV also presents color and print trends for the upcoming season.  There were books upon books of trend forecasting from places as far as Brasil and London.  It is exciting to take a look at what people are doing on opposite sides of the globe...what are their influences, what shapes do they find appealing?  I also enjoyed the print wall that showcased inspirations for moving forward.

Print inspiration wall at Premiere Vision / Indigo

Print inspiration wall at Premiere Vision / Indigo

It was a fun day in New York CIty!  Sometimes the winter can be rough as the wind tunnels between the huge buildings and the brown snow splashes all over your heels.  But when you experience all this beauty in one place, the innovative mecca that is New York just washes over you like a warm day.  There is a reason the Big Apple is a sought after destination for artists of all media, and that is because this city is creative playground!